The ‘Duel on the Downs’ at Glorious Goodwood was billed as the race of the season, but the Prix Jacques Le Marois looks a red-hot renewal. This elite field have won 15 European Group 1 races between them, and it is the contributor of four of those victories, Elusive Kate that looks a massive price.
John Gosden’s filly seems to love crossing the channel, having claimed five of her seven victories in France. Even more impressive is the fact that the four-year-old has only failed to win once over this course and distance. That one defeat coming in this race last year at the hands of crack miler Excelebration.
Despite the daunting opposition, a price of 8/1 about her continuing her love affair with Deauville and secure three wins on the bounce looks far too big, especially after landing the plum rail draw of stall one.
With Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach in the field it will obviously be no easy ask. However, after the colt’s defeat in the aforementioned battle with Toronado at Goodwood, it is questionable whether a long hard season has begun to take its toll on the Guineas winner.
The home representatives in Normandy are led by Intello and Moonlight Cloud, the former looking to have a leading chance. The Prix Du Jockey Club winner has been mightily impressive in his five wins so far in a short career, and if continuing to improve will take some stopping.
Freddy Head’s Moonlight Cloud was a ready winner over 7f at the course last week, but the step up in trip is not sure to benefit the mare. Just one win from four attempts at a mile certainly raises a number of stamina doubts.
An interesting outsider is Richard Hannon’s Olympic Glory. The Sheikh Joaan owned colt was only ¾ length behind Dawn Approach in last season’s Coventry Stakes, but a flop in French Guineas in May sees him available at a generous 20/1. If the three month break has done him good, that price could look ridiculous at 3pm on Sunday.
In the end though, if Intello and Dawn Approach are at their best it is likely to be between the two of them. But at the current prices, Elusive Kate is the sure-fire value pick to show the less-experienced colts how to win at Deauville.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing